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Truck hits Ernie’s Tin Bar east of Petaluma

A truck carrying hay crashed into Ernie’s Tin Bar in Petaluma around 7:30 p.m. Friday, smashed into a propane tank and closed Lakeville Highway for 2½ hours, according to the CHP.

The Ford pickup was headed west on Lakeville Road approaching Stage Gulch Road when an eastbound driver in a white BMW convertible made a sudden left turn onto Stage Gulch Road, causing the truck driver to veer off the road and crash into the bar, CHP Officer Dave Thomas said.

“The driver of the sedan just made a left turn right in front of the pickup when the truck had the right-of-way,” Thomas said. “The truck hit the car and lost control, then he ran into a propane tank in front of the bar.”

The pickup, driven by 43-year-old Rodrigo Cisneros of Fairfield, crashed into the bar, damaging part of its exterior. The driver of the BMW, Rene Mouly, 51, of Rancho Cordova, was injured and taken to Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital, emergency dispatchers said.

Thomas characterized the injuries as moderate.

Daniel Harvey of Petaluma was inside the bar with his brother and friends and posted several photos of the crash on Facebook. He said his brother had cuts and bruises.

“Thank God, he missed the patio,” Harvey said via Facebook message, adding that the propane tank the truck hit was leaking after the crash.

Chris Nardone, who owns Ernie’s along with Ernie Altenreuther, said there were about 15 people inside the bar and roughly 20 on the patio when the crash occurred. All were evacuated and the bar was closed. Nardone said building officials must survey the extent of the damage before they can reopen.

“No one in the bar was injured; we were incredibly fortunate,” Nardone said. “This kind of stuff happens all the time - Lakeville is a very busy street and people taking lefts to cross Lakeville are jockeying for their best move, so they either misjudge their stopping power or they see a vehicle coming at them and try and make a turn that is never going to happen. It’s a very risky area.”

Nardone said she and her neighbors for years have demanded a traffic light on Lakeville Highway.

Thomas said drugs and alcohol were not involved in the accident.

You can reach Staff Writer Angela Hart at 526-8503 or angela.hart@pressdemocrat.com. On Twitter @ahartreports.

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